Even though solar energy is thought to be the next best thing to sliced bread we will discuss the advantages of solar energy and the disadvantages of solar energy. These pages will also provide you with how governments use this energy and how consumers can earn grants and tax credits by implementing solar energy in their homes.
Passive and Active Solar Energy
Generally, there are two types of solar energy utilization techniques: passive and active. Passive techniques involve making use of building materials with favorable thermal properties as well as designing spaces while considering the position of the sun. On the other hand, active techniques involve the use of solar panels, kits, batteries, and other equipment that convert sunlight into functional outputs.
Solar energy can also be categorized according to the type of energy it is converted into. Through this, solar energy can be categorized into three types: solar thermal energy, photovoltaic solar power, and concentrating solar power.
Types of Solar Energy / Solar Thermal Energy
Generating solar thermal energy involves converting energy from the sun into heat. It is through this type of solar energy that we enjoy such equipment as solar heaters for indoor space, tap water, and pools. This type of solar energy is also used for drying clothes and food as well as for cooking, ventilation, and sanitation.
There are currently three types of collectors that help produce solar thermal energy. These include low, medium, and high temperature collectors. Low temperature collectors are those that make use of flat plates which are often used to heat pools. Medium temperature collectors also make use of flat plates but are most commonly used to heat water for use in homes and buildings. On the other hand, high temperature collectors make use of lenses and mirrors. These are often used by solar thermal power plants to generate electric power.
Types of Solar Energy / Photovoltaic Solar Power
Making use of photovoltaic solar power involves converting energy from the sun directly into electricity. This is done through the use of photovoltaic cells. Through this type of solar energy, we can generate solar electricity and benefit from various technologies such as photovoltaic cooling systems and solar lighting systems.
Utilizing photovoltaic solar power is a promising alternative to our conventional sources of energy because it is dependent on renewable resources and its generation processes do not involve harmful by-products such as carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide and contaminated water. For these reasons, many companies have been engaged in building solar power stations as well as developing technologies that efficiently produce photovoltaic solar power for private and commercial use.
Types of Solar Energy / Concentrating Solar Power
Similar to photovoltaic solar power, concentrating solar power converts sunlight directly into electricity. The main difference between the two is the fact that concentrating solar power makes use of lenses as well as mirrors in order to create small beams from sunlight. These light beams are then concentrated onto photovoltaic panels or used as heat sources for thermal power plants. For this reason, this type of solar energy is used only for large-scale solar energy production.
The different types of solar energy allow for a number of applications. It is through these different types that various technologies and equipment have already been developed for use not only in homes but also in businesses and industries.
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